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Farmers devastated by impact of disease

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: March 06, 2014

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THE manager of the region's main sheep abattoir described the damage caused by C-Ovis as "heart-breaking" for some farmers.

Sue Gallant of H R Jasper and Sons confirmed to the Journal that this year had seen a big increase in cases.

"The last 12 months it's gone up a lot.

"We used to get the odd one or two but some producers are having up to a dozen or more sheep in a batch condemned because of C-Ovis.

"It's heart-breaking. Some farmers are coming into the plant to see their carcasses because they couldn't believe it.

"We had one very conscientious farmer with 13 or 14 condemned.

"By then it's too late. We need to be thinking about the future.

"Which is why this questionnaire is so important."

Her abattoir is currently slaughtering around 8,000 sheep a week but can manage nearly twice that.

She added: "Tracey needs all the feedback she can get.

"She's inundated with farmers who don't know where it's coming from.

"It could be dogs, foxes, cats, hunting dogs, especially if you've got a public footpath across your land."

She said often the producers who have had sheep condemned say they have a public footpath on their farms.

The company is handing out questionnaires to some of its customers.

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